Today my mom, sister, and I ravaged my aunt and uncle's house like teeny boppers to Zac Efron.
We repeatedly arrive laden with food and require my uncle BBQ for us. We currently purchase the same amount of food for seven people as we did in prior years for twenty. It's about as logical as the hairstyle half hot-pink dreads/half fro.
My mom, a friend of mine, and I resolved to play horseshoes after wandering through the garden, gorging on cheese dip, and lounging by the pool was deemed too physically active. We opted for the game of stand-and-swing-one-arm.
My uncle's friend's Jeep sat behind the horseshoe pit I was positioned at. My mom warned him to move his car on the chance that she might miss the pit completely and hit the car. He laughed at her and said that's the beauty of his Jeep. Even a horseshoe flung that far wouldn't dent his baby.
"Oh fine, don't move it. But I will hit it. And it's not going to be my fault, because I warned you!" she exclaimed with maniacal laughter.
Her first toss, my mom's horseshoe went heavenward, and then descended, rolled, and came to a halt halfway between the two pits, about as close to the Jeep as I was to the pool a quarter acre away.
After some technical coaching from my friend, my throws resembled a rocket launch. I came closer to making contact with the Jeep behind me than my mom did. Two landed so far off the horseshoe pitch that they almost collided with my uncle's truck. We hadn't foreseen the truck's location as a potential problem, it was that far removed from the game. I settled myself next to my horseshoe pit. Judging by the horseshoes final halts around the yard, the pit was the safest place to stand.
"Kara, you're going to get hit!" my mom yelled, "Stand behind the barricade!"
The barricade was a result of past incidents. My uncle had erected a wooden blockade some feet behind the steel stakes. For protection. As I vociferated, "I'll be fine. You worry too much!" I recalled years before when my dad drunkenly drove our van directly into the wooden gate at the end of my aunt and uncle's driveway. The gate is now metal. Judging by the dents in the horseshoe barricade, I couldn't help wondering if it should be upgraded as well.
Four minutes later, after I had landed one horseshoe on the pitch and the other in the flowers, I observed my mom throw. Her first piloted in a tree. Her second struck the ground seven feet from me, but then shot to my shin, attacking like a roly-poly on crack. It crunched into my shin with the force of metal with momentum. Instead of the little-girl-shriek I longed to detonate, I clenched my teeth and moved quietly behind the blockade, my fingernails digging in to my palms. My mom uttered the shriek I coveted and screeched, "Oh my God! Honey, are you okay? I'm so sorry! Do you need ice? I told you you'd get hit!"
I assured her of my continued competence. We finished the game when my friend, who was playing on a team by himself against my mom and myself, achieved his third point. Three was our previously determined winning number. I think normally people play to twenty-one.
We descended to the house's back porch where my mom again inquired how my shin was.
"I'm going to have a bruise on my shin. People are going to ask what happened. I'll have to tell them my mom threw metal at me," I replied.
"Kara, I'm so sorry I hit you with the horseshoe! Are you really going to bruise? I'm so sorry! I feel awful," she lamented and pulled me in to a hug. Then she sneezed directly on the arm I had wrapped around her back. It was such close proximity that her nose connected with my forearm.